Principles and Practices of Construction Law

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9780130325761: Principles and Practices of Construction Law

Principles and Practices of Construction Law presents the most common areas of law encountered in the construction industry in an easy-to-read format. Geared to those not yet studying law, the legal concepts are simplified and presented in a basic and simple format that is understandable, practical and devoid of excessive legal detail that can be overwhelming. The book is designed to build readers' ability to think critically, solve legal problems and write comprehensible solutions to claims and issues arising in the construction process. The volume provides an introduction to the legal system and the maxims of law, and addresses applying and using the law, logic, preparing legal arguments and briefing cases, law, ethics, and morality, relationships among the parties on the project, bidding, specification and plans, delays, and acceleration, differing, and unforeseen site conditions, warranties, termination of the contract and contract damages, torts, joint liability and indemnity and dispute resolution. For construction industry professionals interested in a basic understanding of important legal concepts.

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From the Back Cover:

Principles and Practices of Construction Law was written for students and managers in the fields of architecture, engineering, and construction management. This comprehensive text covers all aspects of law that affect a construction project from beginning to end. In addition, there are background chapters on logic and the law, applying and using the law, and introduction to the legal system. Geared toward non-lawyers, this text is intended to help construction managers avoid legal entanglements on the job.

Some of the key features include:
  • Discussion of important issues, trends, and current events in the construction industry.
  • Emphasis in several chapters on the development of legal thinking and writing skills.
  • End-of-chapter problems help students and managers develop necessary skills in critical analysis and problem solving.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Principles and Practices of Construction Law presents the most common areas of law encountered in the construction industry in an easy-to-read format geared to college students, particularly undergraduate students. The legal concepts are simplified and presented in such a way that students can understand the legal points involved without getting so involved in the minute details of the law that they lose interest or become overwhelmed. Although such minute details are important in the actual practice of law or in any specific case, these details have a tendency to be the trees that hide the forest for people who need only a basic understanding of the important legal principles applicable to their profession.

Focuses of the Text

The Law

Chapter 1 is designed to give students an understanding of how the legal system in the United States operates. This chapter also gives students the basics that all business people should understand in order to operate effectively in the U.S. market.

Although this text does not begin to discuss specifics of the law until Chapter 6, the primary focus of this text is on the areas of law that students will encounter in the construction industry. Several chapters are devoted to contracts and contract-related issues such as differing site conditions and scope issues. In addition, chapters are devoted to torts, joint liability, and bankruptcy.

This text differs from others in that it also contains chapters on tort law and joint liability.

Critical Thinking and Reasoning

In addition to teaching students about a few laws, this text can be used to teach students how to apply these laws to real situations and to solve problems they encounter. Chapters are designed to increase the ability of students to solve problems using the law. Students are taught to think logically and to prepare valid arguments in support of some position. Chapter 4, Preparing Legal Arguments and Briefing Cases, is probably best left as a graduate student topic. It is not likely that undergraduate students will spend much, if any, tine reading actual court cases, and since reading and understanding them is difficult, there is not usually sufficient time in the undergraduate curriculum to devote to this skill. Graduate students may find this topic challenging, however.

In addition, each chapter contains some THINK exercises. These are designed to encourage more active learning by students.


Each of the chapters discussing a specific area of the law (Chapters 6-17) contains problems for students to solve. Many undergraduate students find solving such problems extremely difficult, so this task has been made simpler by supplying hints that will help undergraduates solve the problems without being overwhelmed.

Frequently Asked Questions

The text ends with a chapter designed to acquaint students with some of the recent trends and the most common legal issues in the construction industry. Much of the material is a summary of material covered in the text and is a good review.


Several actual cases have been included in appendices to some of the chapters. Generally, these are best used in a graduate class where the students have a greater ability to read and understand complex writings. Cases are, after all, written by legal professionals for other legal professionals—they are not written for students.


I would like to thank the following reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions: Frederick E. Gould, Roger Williams University; Mark Pruitt, Oklahoma State University; and John A. Wiggins, New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Nancy J. White

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White J.D., Nancy J.
ISBN 10: 0130325767 ISBN 13: 9780130325761
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